25 April 2012

Weekend Update (Two Days Late)

My weekend was great, everybody! So great I forgot to take any pictures!

(Obviously I did not take that one! Source here).
I was in Northampton, Massachusetts, at Smith College, visiting A, who I've known since we were thirteen or so, and her roommate S (the photo above is a vintage postcard of their dorm back in the day). I arrived Friday night just in time to catch a frozen-yogurt-and-bookstore excursion, where I found sweet vintage postcards of local (and not-so-local) sights, plus a beautiful old Modern Library edition of The Enormous Room that looked a little something like this:

Saturday was beautiful sunny weather, and I enjoyed baking on the lawn, picnicking, talking feminism and Disney movies and eyeliner and all the other important things. A's ladylove M turned out to know several members of my Montreal tribe, even! It was one of those weekends when everything felt serendipitous.

Sunday we did some pretty unremarkable shopping and wandering...and then it started torrentially pouring just as I hopped in the car to drive eastward, and I-90 was partially flooding. But now I know I can drive successfully through a monsoon, which? Cool.

Andrew Jackson Jihad turned out, in fact, to be playing TT the Bear's Place, a fact which did nothing to impair the show's awesomeness. AJJ shows are always more like singalongs, group therapy, giant festivities of (fun!) catharsis, than they are events where a performer attempts to entertain a crowd. This was no exception, nor would any of us have wanted it to be, I think.

Great times. Coming up soon: a rumination on the nature of business casual (I GOT A REAL OFFICE JOB GUYS), some outfit photos with that red dress I finally finished remaking, and some cheeky peeks into the archives (ie, What I Do All Day aside from the soon-to-commence office job). Stay tuned!

19 April 2012

Crafts on a Summer's Day

Dear internet, I present to you my first nonclothing craft project in what seems like forever: bottlecap magnets!

I made a set of these a couple years ago, but between breakage and giving them away and leaving the rest in Montreal when I moved, I am out! And I have a packratting problem and a shoebox full of bottlecaps, so making more was pretty much inevitable. They're super simple: bake a layer of Sculpey into the bottlecap to create a raised surface, then hot-glue a round magnet on, like so:

(Sleeman, Moosehead, Boreale, Molson, Keith's...O, Canada.)

I finished those up, along with some mending and laundryfolding action, while watching Jazz on a Summer's Day, a 1959 documentary filmed during the Newport Jazz Festival of 1958. It's mostly footage from the festival, with nearly as much visual attention to audience as performers, and includes some contextual material--shots of town life in Newport, the locals' reaction to the descent of the jazz crowd, and some ironic juxtaposition with scenes of the other major Newport event coinciding with the festival--the America's Cup, a major yacht-sailing race.

I'm including the following excerpt from the film a) because Dinah Washington is wicked awesome and b) to give a general idea of the film's tone. So, uh, watch it.


1) The girl in the couple visible from 0:21 to 0:27 and again from 0:40 to 0:45 looks JUST LIKE ELIZABETH MOSS! An early chapter in Peggy's bohemian adventures, perhaps? Though to be fair, it isn't the Mad Men Moss as much as West Wing era--the short hair and the young face are straight outta the Zoey playbook.

2) The segment from 2:01 to 2:36 where Dinah and the percussionist are "battling" over the xylophone--just such pure fun and awesomeness. I love it.

3) WHAT A DRESS. It is crazy, inexplicably proportioned, but also phenomenal.

There's quite a bit of excellent clothing throughout the film, actually--Anita O'Day wears a giant feathered hat and a sheath dress with a mid-thigh hem flounce, a combination that sounds terrifying but is somehow perfect; and with the crowd featured as heavily as it is throughout, there's plenty of opportunity for "everyday people"-watching, which I always love.

The film in its entirety is available here.

Enjoy your weekend, everybody! I'm off to Northampton to stay with A and S 'til Sunday night, when I'll be heading back cityward to see ANDREW JACKSON JIHAD at the Middle East!

17 April 2012

A Desk of One's Own

In case anyone hasn't noticed yet, there are few things I love more than getting stuff for free. This affinity is only increased when my new possessions are craft-related:

Check it! Sewing table, $0. Mom has been trying to get me to deal with large-object-disposing this desk for her for months, since it was "broken." Guess what's wrong?

The desk drawer busted and now there's a hole in the front. Nothing I can't handle! I've already drowned the thing in sewing notions,

not to mention my current recon project:

More on all that when I'm done with the sewing and all my possessions are properly in order, though! If I get real wild I might even reglue the drawer front into the hole:

11 April 2012

Country Time Cover Story

I am drinking lemonade while I post this! Country Time! It's a pun! I'm hilarious!

For today's Cover Story we have the Carter family singing "No Depression in Heaven":

And then, Uncle Tupelo's take on the song, recorded as "No Depression":

(Seriously, though, guys, I'm on the porch with a glass of icy lemonade, barefoot in a sundress. It is summer already, and I could not be happier.)

09 April 2012

Rosie the Attic-Cleaner

I had a bunch of house chores to do today, including the tail end of an attic-cleaning adventure that started over the weekend, and I woke up feeling a little blah. Nothing a little dress-up won't fix:

I cut my bangs again, guys! They are overlong for Bettie bangs because I have a bizarre fear of exposed forehead (probably due to teenage zit paranoia and my still-insufficient eyebrow-grooming habits) but I am really pleased!

And apparently I own a Boston Police Special Ops shirt? Who knew:

I kicked the attic's ass in the end, by the way. Everything is organized! I'm pretty sure it was the lipstick that did the trick. I found a bunch of old Halloween costumes up there from when my mama and her brothers were little, a couple of which were hilarious and one of which (a can-can dancer costume) seems to be even older than that and is not only beautiful but in amazingly good shape. Maybe I'll pull those out and do some more photography soon, eh?